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The 'WHYs' of cheating and how to prevent it.

Cheating is much more common than we think. According to a 2021 survey by Health Testing Centre, a whopping 46% of respondents in a monogamous relationship said they had an affair!


Cheating is hurtful and undesirable, so why do people still cheat? We combed through research papers and surveys and put together some of the possible reasons why people cheat. And no surprise, that the reasons are different for men and women, though overlaps exist.

Among the top reasons for cheating ( for European and American men), both quoted that ‘ the other person being really hot’ as the top reason.

What makes a person willing to cheat?


Appeal factor

Among the top reasons for cheating ( for European and American men), both quoted that ‘ the other person being really hot’ as the top reason. Most people may associate “hot” with physical sexiness. However, there’s more than one factor that attributes to a person’s appeal factor. Other factors include their charisma, how they present themselves and how good they are with people.


Beyond physical appeal, a person may be appealing due to how successful they are, how intelligent they are or how wealthy they are.


Relationship Problems

People are more likely to cheat when their current relationship isn't going well. In relationships where people fight, and feel misunderstood and under-appreciated, cheating is more likely to happen.


Especially among women. In the survey between American and European women, results show that they are most likely to cheat when their partner stops paying attention to them.

The underlying unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their current relationship can then trigger them to commit acts of infidelity. Especially among women. In the survey between American and European women, results show that they are most likely to cheat when their partner stops paying attention to them.


Opportunity

Time away from partners presents itself as an opportunity to cheat. Couples who don't spend most of their time together are much more likely to cheat than those who do. This is because they have different social lives, friends, careers, travel plans, etc.


Risk Taking

People who are naturally more fearful or shy are less likely to cheat than people who like to take risks or have a sense of adventure. Although research has shown taking risks has something to do with genes, this is not a convenient and reasonable excuse to get away with cheating!


Personality

The likelihood of cheating on their partner also depends on their personality traits. People with psychopathic or Machiavellian traits are much more likely to cheat than others. Not sure if your partner has Machiavellians? You can read more here.


Power

Power makes people feel more confident, outgoing and assertive. People with a lot of power are likely to make direct eye contact, strike a confident pose, and walk up to people they might like to date. With that high level of confidence and power, it’s easier to believe that they can get away with mistakes, including cheating.


Sexual Desire

Different people have different sexual desires and libido levels. People who tend to have a higher libido which is mismatched with their partner may then seek elsewhere to satisfy their needs.


People who have multiple affairs are often hooked on the excitement and newness that comes with cheating. Traditionally, men also have a higher sex drive and are more likely to cheat than women.


Attachment and Loving Styles

Some see love and romance as sacred bonds between two people. Some people see love as a game where the goal is to control the other person and get them to feel like they want. People who think of love as a game are likely to have more than one love interest. Cheating on your partner is another way to gain power over them. Also, people who don't care much about their relationships are more likely to cheat.


Sense of Being Entitled

Some people think it's okay to cheat on their partner because of who they are in society, what they think about the roles of men and women, or how they were raised in their culture. In other words, some people think that cheating is something they are allowed to do.


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Does the above apply to you or your partner? And you would like to prevent cheating?

Read on.

As the phrasing goes: Prevention is better than cure.

If you ever find yourself having thoughts of cheating on your partner, take a step back and look into what is causing that thought.


Level 1: Superficial

If you find yourself attracted to others based on their looks, money or charisma, understand that you have control over how you act in response to the attraction.


More importantly, it’s to acknowledge the feeling of attraction and make a conscious and powerful decision to move away from it.


Level 2: Psychological/Personality

If you realise you are dealing with a personality disorder, such as compulsive sexual behaviour or even Machiavellians, do communicate with your partner about your situation and seek their understanding. Together with your partner, you should seek professional help( e.g Psychologist) in dealing with the situation.


Level 3: Relationship Issues

Disagreement, unhappiness or even dissatisfaction in your relationship. Communication or the lack thereof can usually be found at the root of these issues. Couples who rarely or are unwilling to communicate, compound negative emotions that might break out into infidelity.


If communication becomes difficult, it is advisable to consult a relationship and intimacy coach to explore the underlying issues of the relationship. Having a coach that you and your partner can trust would help rebuild the passion and intimacy in your relationship.


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